Castle Rock: “Dirty” Review

Proving once again to be far superior to its first season, Castle Rock season 2 gave us a strong episode, further building its supernatural threat and putting things in motion for what will most likely be a tense finale!

Spoilers Ahead: You’ve Been Warned!!!

Hitting the Fan
Following the events of last episode, the “Cult of Amity” has completely taken over the town.  Believing that Annie Wilkes is still their vessel for Amity, Ace has her and Joy brought to the Marsten house, but Annie is quick to become suspicious of them.

Ace and the others begin to realize that Joy is more “pure” and therefore more worthy of being the vessel.  Despite taking her meds, Annie keeps seeing the ghost of her mom (whom we can’t be sure is just a hallucination or an actual ghost), who warns her of how these people are dangerous.

Up until the end, the “ghost” of Annie’s mother is actually pretty helpful, which is rare in most movies/TV. Usually ghosts are a foreboding threatening force, but from time to time, they’re there to warn and help.

Eventually, they take Joy, forcing Annie to break her out (even using a sledgehammer in a brilliant moment of fan service).  However, as they escape the Marsten house, Joy seems to unwillingly join the masses in following the statue of Amity and is seemingly part of the cult  now.

Meanwhile, Nadia shows her inner badass and fights for her life as Chris shows up to kill her, but the real Chris manages to come through and help her fight off the cult members, as they sweep the hospital, killing any final survivors.

The most awesome moment is when Nadia uses a stethoscope to choke out Chris.

All Coming Together
We mentioned in our previous episode’s review that it seemed like all the subplots were converging, and that’s exactly what happened here, and it didn’t disappoint!  We got really strong payoffs from everything that’s been quietly building in the background, and an apocalyptic type event for our climax.

In addition to the tension, we also get some great character grown woven throughout.  Annie has an inspiring victory over her own illness and past, as the “ghost” of her mother finally instructs her to kill Joy in order to “purify” her.  After years of allowing her mother’s issues to dominate her life, Annie rejects this idea and becomes the loving and protective mother she always struggled to be.

Joy needs a strong mother figure, now more than ever, as she’s dealing with the immense guilt of accidentally killing her birth mother.

Nadia also gets some moments to shine, although her hospital escape scene seemed a bit farfetched.  The move to use Chris to lure them was pretty ingenious, but as the cult members with guns start shooting, and she’s pushing a heavy gurney through the halls, it doesn’t seem very realistic that she would be able to make it into the office and the shut the door, long before they reached that hallway.  But chalk this up to the whole “bad guys have terrible aim” cliché.

We didn’t see either Abdi or Pop, but it’s probably a safe assumption that they will play a role later, and the reconciliation between them and Nadia will have to take place.  Only with them working together (along with Annie) can they possibly hope to overcome this looming threat.

What did you think of this week’s episode?  Let us know in the comments below!  For more reviews, rankings, and other fun horror content, follow Halloween Year-Round on Facebook and Twitter!

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